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Thursday, October 21, 2010

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The article from Posnanski was much better than Verducci.

The subtext of Pos's article, if you actually read it, is that while Charlie certainly should be questioned for these specific moves, he's been around the game for a while and knows this is all part of it--sometimes you just do things that don't work it out. Sometimes you make bad moves. Sometimes players boot easy plays.

This seems to be what you guys are saying anyway.

I don't know if it's "agnostic", but here's my view:

Charlie's managerial style is a net positive over baseball's long haul Regular Season, where patience & a certain amount of stubbornness are indeed virtues, & a net negative in baseball's Postseason, where flexibility, adaptability & tactical savvy often make the difference between winning & losing.

However you slice it, bringing in your Game 7 starter in the 9th inning of a tied Game 5 is not a good idea.

That being said, Charlie can't manufacture runs on his own.

correction: replace the numbers 7 and 5 with 6 and 4 respectively.

It's been a long morning.

So any reaction to UC choice's is an "overreaction"? Or just a negative reaction? Or just any reaction that has a lot of emotion in it?

I'm confused. What is an acceptable reaction, and what is an "overreaction"?

GTown_Dave is right. Charlie managed last night's game like this was the regular season. It wasn't. It was the biggest game of the postseason. And then bringing in Oswalt was a last ditch effort to try and reverse course with all the decisions made up to that point, which proved to be an equally catastrophic failure.

Anyone who thinks Kendrick should have come into the game in the bottom of the 9th is crazy.

Personally, I was fine with either Lidge or Oswalt.

I'm sorry, but I don't buy it. Phillies management has provided Charlie with a mountain of talent and it's relatively easy to manage successfully when you're loaded with talent. This is why it has been difficult to evaluate the various Yankee managers that have come and gone. Consistently, Charlie has shown poor game tactical management skills, whether its deploying the bullpen to maximize its strengths, rather than to maximize its weaknesses, as he did in last night's game. Not to order a bunt with Rollins batting in the eighth inning, was beyond bush-league - it was just patently unsound game management. The proof lies in the proverbial pudding. Bochy is managing a team with a line up that is barely better than that of the Astros (if it is better, which is debatable) and he is kicking our high price butt and he's doing it consistently. And when it happens consistently, it is not a matter of luck, it's a matter of competence and Charlie doesn't have it.

What if Halladay goes 5 innings and allows 4 runs tonight? Does that mean Charlie was right, or would he have tossed a no-hitter in his hypothetical game 4 start?

"The only thing I know about strategy is that whatever the manager does, it's wrong. Unless it works, in which case he's a button-pusher." Moe Szyslak

re-post

RSB - so he's inflexible because he doesn't do what you think he should do? Subjective.

Again, many, many, many BLers were absolutely convinced that he should abandon Lidge, replace Ibanez with Brown mid-season, etc. They said he was being inflexible. Was he?

He has his character as a manager - which is to give players a consistent role and to stand behind them. It has its advantages and its disadvantages. In balance, it has been HUGELY successful. I'm not sure it means that he's "inflexible."

Dave - Well summarized.

RSB is partially right. There were a number of moves last night that shouldn't be surprising in the least including Cholly sticking with a veteran reliever like Durbin, saving Gload until late, and using Oswalt in the 9th because Cholly plays to 'win for today.'

I was a bit surprised though that he didn't have JRoll bunt in the 8th last night or PH Francisco for the potential lefty/righty matchup because those are things that Cholly has done before especially almost always trying to get the lefty/righty matchup for his PH late.

"Consistently, Charlie has shown poor game tactical management skills,"


Can someone give me a name of a manager, just one, who hasn't consistently shown poor game tactical management skills. Every manger makes decisions that don't work out.

Just posted this in last thread, and I think it fits here.

Charlie made some weird moves, as usual, but I think he also made some smart ones.

First, using Contreras to clean up Blanton's mess was great - he used a relief ace to get a huge out. Normally, that would be Durbin's spot, and well, we saw how that went the next inning.

Second, I actually like the idea of trying to squeeze an extra out or two out of Bastardo. I'm speculating, obviously, but Charlie likely did that because he knew his bullpen was going to be taxed and wanted to see if he could save Madson's bullets. And anyway, Bastardo has good enough stuff to get out righties.

And then, a third good move, once it didn't work, he went right to Madson, who got the job done.

Fourth, he avoided using both Romero and Kendrick. Use Romero for a lefty only, but otherwise, keep his walk-the-side ways off the mound. And please, none of us wants Kendrick in a high leverage game. Against the bottom of the order in the 12? Sure. But in the 9th, no way.

Fifth, I love using Oswalt in that spot. Sure, this brings up the issue of Halladay on short rest, but really, these are unrelated issues. Given the situation, I thought it was great to put the ball in Oswalt's hand. Pitch selection could have been better, but still a better option than Lidge, Romero, or Kendrick.

I don't think of myself as an apologist for old Charlie, but I'd say his errors were really only clear errors in retrospect; in game, they were tough calls. Letting Ben Fran bat (who had some nice cuts and is the defensive player you want late in the game) vs burning a hitter (Gload, likely)? That's tough, especially as the game could have easily gone extras and you really want someone like Gload ready to bat once Wilson enters the game.

Not bunting Jimmy? I mean, if he just rolls over on a ground ball to second, we never talk about this. Hell, if he singles, it's gutsy and beautiful. Instead, they gave him a shot and he did the worth thing possible. Maybe the bunt is the safe play, but it's no guarantee, and the numbers don't say it's a sure win.

Tough game all around. For my money, those lead off walks killed. Very uncharacteristic, even for our mediocre pen. Sloppy.

Why Ben Francisco hit against Romo is just mind-boggling. I won't even get into all the other decisions. Charlie lost this game for us when he started Blanton, but we just kept getting more and more evidence as the game went along, bad decision after bad decision. He deserves to be raked over the coals for this one, that's all. Stop defending him. He had a bad game. Does he get fired for it? No, assuredly not. But to defend Cholly this time is just being as blindly loyal as he can be at times.

"Again, many, many, many BLers were absolutely convinced that he should abandon Lidge, replace Ibanez with Brown mid-season, etc. They said he was being inflexible. Was he?"

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Madson has better numbers than Lidge, and probably should be our closer. Ibanez flourished when he was in a semi-platoon situation and his numbers against lefties suggest he might benefit from this arrangement.

Yeah. I dont think sticking with Lidge as the closer and Ibanez as the everday starting left fielder are signs of unqualified success.

'Can someone give me a name of a manager, just one, who hasn't consistently shown poor game tactical management skills'

Tony LaRussa would tell you it's Tony LaRussa....

You're off-base Phillies Red. Keep those long-winded insights to yourself and watch a few more games.

Bochy's a genius for taking some of his mediocre talent out of the lineup and replacing it with the guys whose jobs they had taken, and then they contribute more than they had when they lost their jobs.

Don't know if that's smart or desperate, but he'll get credit for being smart.

"Yeah. I dont think sticking with Lidge as the closer and Ibanez as the everday starting left fielder are signs of unqualified success."


I never said they were. By your logic, the only decisions that aren't proof of inflexibility are those which are unqualified success? Keeping Madson in the setup roll and Lidge as the closer was absolutely key down the stretch. It could well be argued that any other arrangement would not have resulted in nearly as many wins. At the very point where the screaming about the inflexibility of not replacing Ibanez with Brown, Ibanez took off. His production over the second half of the season was key. Brown has pretty much proven he isn't ready for the big time. I'd say your inability to admit the success of Charlie's moves there is more indication of your inflexibility than his.

How about his "inflexibility" with leaving starters in, using Madson and Lidge so much? Remember all the complaints about how that "inflexibility" would ruin the bullpen?

A team of power hitters that loses its power, isn't going to be much of a hitting team anymore.

Either the power returns next year, or the Phils continue to decline in terms of offensive prowess.

Thanks Markus; I'll do that.

Managers' moves, bunts or no bunts, pinch hitting or no pinch hitting, sending runners or not sending runners.....

If Utely had hit a lick in this series, the Phillies would be ahead. They will only win tonight if he comes through.

The Phillies are just not a great team unless Utley hits.

Jack I have an important stat about their power numbers. That number is +1....Utley Howard and Raul will all be one year older next year......I rue the day that we are paying Howard $25 mill a year to DH on an AL team.

Great article by Schmidt.

Jack,

Agreed and CBP is built for a team that hits homeruns. We don't play 81 games at Petco.

"I never said they were. By your logic, the only decisions that aren't proof of inflexibility are those which are unqualified success?"

Well, if I was going to pick examples of where UC's inflexibility benefited the team, I wouldn't pick examples where him being inflexible lead to debatable outcomes.

Thanks, cjp. That Schmidt piece is a good one.

I liked your comments, PhilliesRed.

EFF - Great quote by Moe Szyslak (although I've never heard of him).

I'm finding myself agreeing with Jack a lot today. About the Giants being a good team, about how sometimes you win and sometimes you lose...As for the hitting - I'm not positive we can't hit without power, but I do miss it this year.

Anyone think itd be worth while to call out of work to watch the game tonight?

"At the very point where the screaming about the inflexibility of not replacing Ibanez with Brown, Ibanez took off. His production over the second half of the season was key. Brown has pretty much proven he isn't ready for the big time. I'd say your inability to admit the success of Charlie's moves there is more indication of your inflexibility than his."

And by the way, you're using a closed probe on me, presenting this as an either Ibanez/Brown situation when it really wasn't. A lot of people were calling for a Francisco platoon which, given Francisco's numbers against lefties vs. Ibanez, is and was totally the correct call....not what ended up happening. UC wanted to stick with his proven veteran, and when Ibanez provided him the slightest motive to do so, that's what happened.

"EFF - Great quote by Moe Szyslak (although I've never heard of him)."

GBrett, you really don't know who Moe Scyzlak is?

Really?

In that case, I'm going to Moe's.

Gave my take on CB. Charlie made mistakes last night. It doesn't mean he's a bad manager, but sometimes your strength can also be your weakness. Some of those mistakes were worth pointing out

http://www.crossingbroad.com/2010/10/a-total-team-loss.html

"As for the hitting - I'm not positive we can't hit without power, but I do miss it this year."

I miss it too. :-(

I'm positive a team can be successful without much power. Look at the Giants. Whether THIS team with THESE coaches can be successful without power is another matter entirely.

Even old baseball men like Manuel should be held to account for their decisions, regardless of how they work out.

"Well, if I was going to pick examples of where UC's inflexibility benefited the team, I wouldn't pick examples where him being inflexible lead to debatable outcomes."

Heather - there were tons of people saying that Lidge should be abandoned and that Ibanez should be banished to the bench, and that Charlie's failure to do so was an indication of his "inflexibility" rather than simply a debatable decision that he made.

Here's the truth, Heather - as you have stated numerous times, you think that Charlie is a "moron" and despite abundant evidence of his success as a manager, you stick to that evaluation.

So who's inflexible, here?

I'm upset with the no-bunt Rollins AB, but letting Ben Fran bat was mind boggling dumb.

Seems Charlie is a great manager for the long season, as G-Town Dave said. But this post season has been puzzling.

And if anyone hasn't noticed, Durbin has been awful for quite a while with no sign he will ever be a major league pitcher again. I can't remember the last time he came into a game and didn't allow a run. I don't count the Reds series, where he faced one batter, walked him, then picked him off.

I was wondering why Durbin was on the post season roster at all. Baez gets a lot of deserved heat. But Durbin has been just as reliably bad for the second half of the season. And yesterday was batting practice. Just garbage.

And looking ahead to next year, I predict Durbin will be getting a minor league Spring Training invite from the Pirates. And they'll cut him because he isn't worth the minimum. Nice guy. But I hope he saved some of the millions he made the last few seasons.

I'd have rather had Worley in the pen, but what do I know.

Rollins should have been able to pull a pitch to the right side, although I'd have preferred a bunt. And Francisco can hit a righty well enough that you don't always have to pinch hit for him. The in game strategy with Charlie is always a mixed bag, but he's right as often as he's wrong. But leaving Durbin in to get plastered, while yanking Bastardo after only two batters? I didn't get that. A veteran is not always better than a kid.

This team has a failing Utley and Rollins, no power, and dead arm Durbin in the pen. It's pretty amazing they made it this far. The starting pitching and Madson/Lidge has bailed this team out all season. And now they need the starting pitching to throw three straight shutouts. Because the offense is not likely to suddenly start clicking. It's possible, but very unlikely.

Overall, a very good but disappointing season.

RSB's point is silly. Why should we get over the fact that our manager has, in his words, a dim and inflexible mind? How is it any argument to say we should be used to his dim mind by now, that we shouldn't be surprised by it? Of course it's not surprising but it's still worthy of criticism.

OH, he's "The Simpsons" Moe? Ok, I have heard of him. But no, obviously I don't watch the show. If I gave it some time, I'm sure I'd find it funny. But I have a bias against animated characters that I find ugly. I can't explain it. - My brothers love the show, does that count? But then, they aren't baseball fans.

Ak: RH have a .180(ish) average against Romo, and we're talking about Ben Fran, not Pujols. You gotta get him out of there.

"Heather - there were tons of people saying that Lidge should be abandoned and that Ibanez should be banished to the bench, and that Charlie's failure to do so was an indication of his "inflexibility" rather than simply a debatable decision that he made."

Since I'm not a person who said Lidge should be banished or DFA'd, I absolutely can't answer for them or that statement. That point of view is and was asinine.

Heather - there were tons of people saying that Lidge should be abandoned and that Ibanez should be banished to the bench, and that Charlie's failure to do so was an indication of his "inflexibility" rather than simply a debatable decision that he made.

"Here's the truth, Heather - as you have stated numerous times, you think that Charlie is a "moron" and despite abundant evidence of his success as a manager, you stick to that evaluation.

So who's inflexible, here?"

There's mountains of evidence that Ibanez should be platooned. That Madson is the best reliever on the team. So, uhm, yeah, UC is pretty inflexible, even in the face of overwhelming statistical evidence to the contrary.

That's the point. You want to call me inflexible too? Fine, go ahead. I think, however, that is says something about the quality of your defense of UC that a significant portion of it is, "Well, even if he is inflexible, you are too, so there!" I'm curious as to why you think my perceived inflexibility should, in any way, shape or form, deflect from Charlie Manuel's.

BB - Yeah, I didn't know Romo was so nasty until that inning. His ball really tails away from righties. However, he threw a meatball right down the pipe to Ruiz that he took for strike two. Anyone can be hit. But I get your point.

I don't know why so much blame is being put on Chuck. At some point the players have to be held accountable. They have been here before and they need to perform no matter where they are in the lineup. J Roll is a veteran and should know to bunt in that situation. Ryan should be able to make contact on a slider or know not to swing by now. Chase is not hitting.

Yes Charlie has made plenty of questionable moves, but the players are not performing either.

"The subtext of Pos's article, if you actually read it, is that while Charlie certainly should be questioned for these specific moves, he's been around the game for a while and knows this is all part of it--sometimes you just do things that don't work it out. Sometimes you make bad moves. Sometimes players boot easy plays. "


Exactly, Jack. I loved watching Charlie's post-game interview last night, where he had a bemused attitude about all the frantic second-guessing. It's that attitude, actually, that makes me think that Charlie isn't nearly as much of a "moron" as some folks think he is. He's smart enough to take the success or failures with a grain of salt, and to realize that ultimately, it's the production or lack thereof of the players that determines wins and loses. I'd say that his relaxed attitude in that respect is why he's had the success he's had. He has trusted in good players, and it has payed off.

wait, what? who considers charlie manuel "savvy and underrated"? guy is a bumbling idiot who's been driven out of town everywhere he's gone...that magically got ryan howard, chase utley, jason werth, cliff lee, roy halladay, roy oswalt, and a cast of many miraculous over-achieving roll players (brade lidge?) thrown in his lap.
you really have to go well out of your way as a manager to not match the results that manuel has gotten with this team.

last night was full of fail. and when there's that much fail, it falls on the manager's lap.

The '44 Cardinals have the bubbly on ice.

phlipper: well, it's an opinion. Of course it's subjective. I'm not saying he's inflexible because he doesn't do what I think he should do. I think he's inflexible because he is much too slow to explore alternative avenues when something obviously isn't working. And I'm really not talking about taking players in and out of the lineup, or replacing Ibanez with Brown (which I would never have advocated). I'm talking about getting caught up in "roles", and at times being too passive when he exercises his philosophy of 'letting the players play'. When the players aren't playing like they should play, when they play back on their heels, the manager has to become more effectual. And he tends not to adapt where adaptability is required.

Yes, Manuel has been unarguably successful, but that doesn't mean he has no faults. And for that matter, I don't know what manager doesn't have some liabilities, no matter the overall reputation. My point was that you take the good with the bad, and stop going back and forth on whether the guy's a hillbilly, a wise sage, an idiot.

Luv the Phillies, really like Charlie Manuel. The Phillies have a bit of a swagger and a certain confidence but swagger/confidence is only effective when it is balanced with smarts. All the decisions and execution leading up to game 4 and during game 4 for better or worse still led us to a moment when we were in a tie game against a tough opponent in the 8th inning of a crucial playoff game with a man on 2nd and nobody out. You have got to use strategy and smarts to get that runner home at all costs which includes the hitter getting the runner to third base and then playing match-up with a pinch hitter if it's not one of your star players up there. If the execution doesn't work or if it does get the run home and your bullpen can't hold the 1 run lead, so be it. You still did the smart thing and gave your team their best chance to win.

Ak: He did do that to Ruiz, but i'm simply griping about Ben Fran.

"I'm upset with the no-bunt Rollins AB, but letting Ben Fran bat was mind boggling dumb. "

I read a book a few months ago about people's deciscion making processes, and how they subconsciously sabotage decisions they feel forced to make or uncomfortable with, in order to continue making the old, comfortable decision.

So, let's postulate: UC is uncomfortable taking Ibanez out to begin with. He doesn't want to. He wants to leave his veteran in there. But he feels he can't. The criticism/press is too much. Maybe Amaro makes a phone call telling him he should "think" about Francisco.

So UC does put in Francisco, against his "gut". Francisco performs ok. Does a few things right, a few things wrong. Nothing to settle his mind either way about it being the right or wrong decision.

A key at bat comes up. The numbers indicate he is not setting Francisco up for success. UC leaves in Francisco. This is what everyone told him to do! We'll see how Francisco does.

Francisco fails! UC feels vindicated. He was right all along. He should have kept Ibanez in.

In the future, he has all the ammunition he needs to start Ibanez even when the statistical evidence says otherwise. After all, Francisco failed in a key situation. Nevermind that UC effectively set him up to fail.

UC now feels justified in sticking with his veterans...which is the outcome he wanted in the first place.

"Phillies management has provided Charlie with a mountain of talent and it's relatively easy to manage successfully when you're loaded with talent."

Loaded with talent when half the talent was on the DL for significant stretches and the other half had career worst years? Not only did he lead them to the playoffs but had the best record in baseball. Is that the talent you speak of?

"I'm curious as to why you think my perceived inflexibility should, in any way, shape or form, deflect from Charlie Manuel's."


This is getting exponentially more ridiculous by the post, so here's my last on the topic.

My point is that you are being inflexible, because you have pre-determined that Charlie is a "moron" and inflexible, and so therefore every questionable move he makes is proof of such. It's called confirmation bias.

Does your inflexibility make Charlie flexible or not? No, of course not. But your inflexibility is what lies behind your evaluation of him. (No doubt, you'd say the same thing of me.) Read my posts to RSB about the subjectivity of the evaluation that Charlie is inflexible.

Look - second-guessing is what baseball is all about. It's great. I just find it odd when people deny that aspect of it's nature, think that they have some god-given ability to determine baseball truth, and declare people who come down the other side on debatable decisions as "morons" and/or "inflexible."

the Phillies haven't won a World Series since MVPTommy was banned. invite him back, or is it just not worth it?

also, couldn't the whole board use a Squonk infusion?

i'm getting excited for the epic comback to begin (Phils, not Tommy)!

Tried to post this an hour ago, but for some reason, the site would not accept the comments.

I weighed in yesterday supporting the Blanton move. In retrospect it didn't work out well, but it could have, it did not seem to me to be a ridiculous strategy. And if it had worked out better, we would all be talking today about how Cholly's gut is always right.

Nothing for nothing, most people here are pretty straightforward. But there was nowhere near the volume yesterday from people saying it was a dumb idea - before we had the wisdom of hindsight. It's always easier to criticize after the fact.

I also note he has taken a lot of flak here over the season for being too rigid and going by the book all the time. Well, he tried a couple of things (Blanton/Oswalt) that were most certainly not "by the book", and he's getting blasted. I think we can agree that neither of these ideas worked out well, but I'm not so sure it's fair, in retrospect, to say they were moronic, idiotic, fire him, whatever.

'I just find it odd when people deny that aspect of it's nature, think that they have some god-given ability to determine baseball truth, and declare people who come down the other side on debatable decisions as "morons" and/or "inflexible."'

Thank you for keeping an open mind about me, and not using your confirmation bias to declare me inflexible.

Oh, wait....

You're right, the argument is getting more ridiculous.

The title from the earlier thread is apropos, the team, not simply Rollins did not execute. One can only blame Manuel for having faith in his team to perform. I don't think it is his fault that the players made mistakes.

"My point was that you take the good with the bad, and stop going back and forth on whether the guy's a hillbilly, a wise sage, an idiot."

I completely agree there, RSB. He's neither a sage or an idiot (although I think he probably does fit the description of a hillbilly - provided you don't use that as a pejorative. )


"I'm talking about getting caught up in "roles", and at times being too passive when he exercises his philosophy of 'letting the players play'. When the players aren't playing like they should play, when they play back on their heels, the manager has to become more effectual. And he tends not to adapt where adaptability is required."


Ok - here's probably where we're going to be repeating ourselves, so I'll try once more and then quit. Take Lidge as an example. It was a prime example of where people said that Charlie was being inflexible about Lidge's role, and that he needed to be more adaptable. In fact, you could argue that his steadfastness in sticking with Lidge in his role was what got Lidge to turn the corner (Lidge has said as much). I'd say that Madson's blossoming under Charlie is likely directly attributable to Charlie's reluctance to alter Madson's role.

I'm saying that the line between productive faith in his players and being inflexible is, by it's very nature, a subjective evaluation. I suppose that at some point you have a bar where you can come down on one side or the other there - and I'd say it would be when in balance, the consistency of a manager's decisions returns negative results. Extrapolating to make a general conclusion from the outcome of one group of decisions or another doesn't cut it (because the variables you're gathering will, inevitably, reflect biases).

I don't see how anyone could argue that in balance, Charlie's approach has been successful. The team has had unprecedented success during his tenure. At the point where that changes, then I think you have am objective way to determine that he is inflexible as opposed to appropriately steadfast in his decision-making.

aksmith - thanks 4 your post-mortum. Oh wait, the season isn't over yet? My bad.

"I don't see how anyone could argue that in balance, Charlie's approach has been successful. The team has had unprecedented success during his tenure. At the point where that changes, then I think you have am objective way to determine that he is inflexible as opposed to appropriately steadfast in his decision-making."

So wins = good manager and losses = bad manager? At least, that's how I read your comment.

If that really is the case, then are you saying when the team starts losing, you'll start saying UC is a bad manager?

If that's not what you meant, maybe you can explain a little better if you would care to?

"Francisco fails! UC feels vindicated. He was right all along. He should have kept Ibanez in."


Heather - that's hilarious. So Charlie's real motivation to lose the series is an unconscious motivation to be "vindicated" for playing Ibanez?

Wow!

Maybe by not asking Jimmy to bunt, Charlie will get him to turn the corner. It's just that vote of confidence Jimmy needs in order to do a bang-up job the rest of the series.

@Bob: I'd argue that the Blanton decision did work. The Phillies had the lead after five innings and they still had their top three starters lined up on normal rest. Did Joe pitch well? Not particularly. But all Charlie was hoping was that he'd pitch well ENOUGH. The bullpen coughed up last night's game, but that doesn't mean the Blanton decision didn't work.

Honestly, I don't understand how any intelligent baseball fan can think that the Phillies should have pitched Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels and Halladay again all on three days rest. I also don't understand why people don't realize that a loss last night and a win tonight is EXACTLY the same as a win last night and a loss tonight.

Did I mention the name "Lidge" once, phlipper? Manuel has used Madson as a closer during periods when Lidge has proven to be ineffective. Manuel has said, "Who else do we have?" And he's right. Most times, Lidge has been the best option, and Madson has struggled just as much as a closer. I'm not going to use Lidge as an example of what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure Manuel has ever fully adapted to the National League, for one thing. When the offense is bashing away, it's easy to sit back and be more passive and let the players do their thing. You get into a series like this, though, and you damn well better be more hands-on than he's been. This is not the time and place for "faith in my guys"; *expecting* Rollins to do the right thing, *expecting* Victorino to steal a damn base instead of being tentative, isn't going to cut it. I'm not saying he has to be Tony LaRussa and micro-manage, but when the players aren't getting it done, you have to step in and play a more active role in the game. And he isn't.

"Heather - that's hilarious. So Charlie's real motivation to lose the series is an unconscious motivation to be "vindicated" for playing Ibanez?

Wow! "

Phlipper, I would honestly rather believe UC's subconscious sabotaged his decision, than he calmly and coldly looked at all the numbers and still thought Francisco was the best choice out of all his potential options on the bench.

In option #1, you have a reasonable guy whose subconscious derailed his thought process.

In option #2, you have a moron.

Despite your opinion to the contrary, I really don't want to believe that UC is a moron, so I would rather believe option #1.

Call it a defense mechanism.

"If that's not what you meant, maybe you can explain a little better if you would care to?"

Heather - you should read again what I said. What I said is that the most objective evaluation of a manager is the success of his team. That's why managers of winning teams don't get fired, and managers of losing teams do get fired.

Once again, Heather (why do I bother?), you are taking highly debatable decisions, and determining that Charlie is a "moron" because he makes decisions that are different than the ones you would make. It's a self-confirming model, because when the decision doesn't work out you can say, "See, proof that I"m right." But A), You have no evidence of what would have happened had Charlie done what you felt was clearly the right choice, and B) you can easily dismiss any decisions that Charlie makes which work out.

The most objective evaluation you can have is the balance of the outcomes of his decisions. It isn't a perfect way to evaluate, but there is
not "perfect" way. But it is obviously better than your subjective (and foolproof) determinations of what Charlie should or shouldn't do.

THE SEASON ISN'T OVER THE SEASON ISN'T OVER THE SEASON ISN'T OVER THE SEASON ISN'T OVER THE SEASON ISN'T OVER THE SEASON ISN'T OVER THE SEASON ISN'T OVER THE SEASON ISN'T OVER.

There, i feel better.

"Heather - you should read again what I said. What I said is that the most objective evaluation of a manager is the success of his team. That's why managers of winning teams don't get fired, and managers of losing teams do get fired. "

So if we are going by objective analysis on the "winningness" of the team, then what you are saying is that I should think UC is a good manager now that the team is winning, yes?

What about in 3 years if the team has had two losing seasons in a row? Is he then a bad manager?

If that's what you're honestly saying, at least you're being consistent.

I don't tend to believe that myself...you could probably have me manage the 1927 Yankees, and they would still win the WS. You could probably have McGraw manage the 2010 Seattle Mariners and he would still fail.

But by your metric, "objectively", I would be a good manager because my team won, and McGraw would be a terrible manager because the MAriners are terrible.

I can't believe that's what you are saying though....which leads me to believe I am misunderstanding you.

I'm wondering...If Charlie had: started Halladay, either not used Durbin or pulled him sooner, told Jimmy to bunt, subbed Raul for BenFran in late innings, and not used Oswalt...but we'd still lost...Would we be here today saying "Well, Charlie did all he could, but we just got beat." Or would we still find fault with the decisions he made?

"Did I mention the name "Lidge" once, phlipper?"

Obviously not. I'm using that as a way to illustrate the subjectivity of determining whether Charlie is inflexible or not.

I don't doubt that Charlie took some time to adapt to NL ball - but I think that's a separate issue.

"And he's right. Most times, Lidge has been the best option, and Madson has struggled just as much as a closer."

Careful, according to Heather, that makes you a "moron," (not to mention, inflexible).

Past Performance does not predict Future Outcomes in terms of baseball. Just because you lose one day, doesn't mean you lose the next. (same with winning) Victo has a positive attitude, which is important. I think we should drop this Charlie this Charlie that. Charlie is who he is. He is the guy who made the same questionable moves in 08. They just worked out. He was the man who made everything turn to gold. Every move he made was perfection. Sometimes things work, sometimes they dont. I dont think Charlie allows statistical data dictate his managerial moves. He makes them from his gut, sometimes they work, sometimes they look really stupid (see Benny Fran hitting against Romo). Whatever, it is the past. Today, the Giants better hope that they just win and back timmy. Because if they don't, they gotta make that flight back to Philly where 45,000 crazy people will be yelling and screaming. They will have to face an unbeaten (at CBP) Roy Oswalt. We will be back in the bandbox for our homerun happy team. Then there is game 7. Hamels v Cain in Philly? I'll take those chances.

Go Phils.

" Or would we still find fault with the decisions he made?"

Bingo. The fact that some would argue the other way if the other decisions hadn't panned out is proof of how subjectivity affects how people evaluate a manager.


The real question is whether or not some of the same people would have found fault with him if he had made the opposite decisions. My guess is that some would - because somehow, venting against Charlie helps relieve the sting from the loss.

I think you can criticize Charlie's moves last night in the micro sense (and absolutely should), while appreciating that he is a good manager in the macro sense.

'"And he's right. Most times, Lidge has been the best option, and Madson has struggled just as much as a closer."

Careful, according to Heather, that makes you a "moron," (not to mention, inflexible).'

I'm sorry. I wasn't aware anyone cared what I thought. Now that I do, I'm touched.

Please feel free to submit other things for my careful consideration in the future.

phlipper- why are you putting yourself through this with Heather? She hates Charlie Manuel. She will never get over it. That's all there is to it. It's like Jack and Howard. The hatred is there and it's not going away.

If the phils come back and win this series, then go on to win the world series in 5 games, Heather will be on here complaining about how the Phils would have swept the Series if Charlie wasn't the manager.

Fruitless arguments around here

"This is getting exponentially more ridiculous by the post, so here's my last on the topic."

Don't make promises you can't keep Phlip.

Just busing stones. I'm pissed like everyone else.

Can't help but think that if we win tonight with baseball's best pitcher on the hill, we will have regained home field advantage. I'd have preferred it to be over by now, but don't hang Charlie yet.

"Bingo. The fact that some would argue the other way if the other decisions hadn't panned out is proof of how subjectivity affects how people evaluate a manager."

I thought you just argued we should objectively evaluate managers? How much more objectively can you evaluate the decision than to say that it succeeded or it failed?

You are arguing in circles. Either we should evaluate managers objectively or we shouldn't.

About 99% of this is 'hindsight is 20/20' BS. This is why I would never want to be the manager of a major league baseball team.

In every game you can say "Well if they just would have done ________ or ________ or pitched ________ instead of ________, we would have won." You can say that for every single game a team loses, and it's all idle speculation. If the Giants lose last night, Bochy could've gotten criticized for any number of things. But they didn't, so he didn't.

It should come down to holding the players on the field responsible for executing. The Giants simply beat the Phillies last night, and it probably didn't matter who pushed what button.

Iceman: Please don't bring me up, especially when you don't know what you're talking about. I like Ryan Howard a lot as a player, and he's been the one guy actually hitting for us this series.

You can criticize a guy for certain things (usually being awful against lefties--this series excepted, bad defense) as well as criticizing the team for massively overpaying the guy, while still liking him overall and recognizing his strengths (fantastic power, crushes righties, etc). It's called being objective.

I'm sorry that you can't even understand this rather simple level of nuance.

maybe we should just stop evaluating managers period. it's a fruitless exercise. it's like playing a game of tic tac toe.

shall we play a game? (in computer voice)

Who would still rather be us then the Yankees? I would.

They were down 3-1 but have to face Cliff Lee. We are down 3-1 and face Linsecum with Halladay on the mound. They will never play another game in the Bronx in this series, we have all the remaining games at the Bank if we can win this one tonight. Despite our deficit there's a better chance of seeing us in the series than the Yankees.

I agree strongly with the overall premise of the original post. The internet has made following sports even better (esp. for transplanted fans), but this is a negative.

24-7 conversation will sometimes lead to overreactions.

As I try and sit back and take a look at it 16 hours later, I think back to the game four's of the 2008 and 2009 NCLS, and how we came through on the right end of an epic game.

I wanted to run Charlie out of town until late August of 2007. In the long run, for his particular group of players, his positives far outweigh the negatives.

I totally supported the idea of having Oswalt available to pitch last night (check the game thread in the sixth inning). The thing I am puzzled about is why he throw his bullpen before the game. Why didn't they wait until after the game to throw the bullpen. Have him throw it the hotel lobby at 11pm if needed.

Let's get in on tonight!

Jack: yup. If I could learn to be as concise as you, we'd all be spared a lot of fatuous posts.

What I said, Heather, is that it is the least imperfect of imperfect criteria.

If the team goes on a losing streak, then to the extent that managerial decisions affect the outcomes of games, the losing is a reflection of a manager's decision-making. A manager's ability to manage is not necessarily static, or an inherent characteristic. Charlie doesn't go from being a "good manager" to a "bad manager" if the team goes from being a winning team to being a losing team.

But again, to the extent that his decisions affect the outcome of games, then losing or winning is, to some degree, a function of the quality of his decisions, with given players, in given situations, in particular games.

If the team loses for three straight years, or more importantly, underachieves for a number of years in a row, then you could reasonably assume that a manager's poor decision-making had something to do with it. Not only have the Phillies won a lot in recent years, I would argue that they have exceeded expectations by quite a margin (in particular, his pitching staff, the handling of which Charlie gets the most grief).

This year, they were expected to win, and they have, despite numerous unforeseen obstacles. They have underachieved in the playoffs? Yes. Does that mean he's a bad manager, of as you like to call him, a "moron?" I'd say there is overwhelming evidence to say no. I'd say that good players have failed to execute in this series (they swept a good team in the Reds). But if they continue to fail to meet general expectations, that is the point where you begin to find the manager's decision-making suspect in balance.

Ok, this is certifiably ridiculous now. Last post in this exchange.

this board is awfully snippy today.

"phlipper- why are you putting yourself through this with Heather?"


I'm inflexible, and I have confidence that if I trust in Heather long enough, she'll come through in the end.

"I also don't understand why people don't realize that a loss last night and a win tonight is EXACTLY the same as a win last night and a loss tonight."

jak440: Or at least it might have been, save for the sudden, inexplicable use of Roy Oswalt in a situation for which he was neither suited nor prepared. This begins delving into an admittedly unquantifiable aspect of the game, but I cannot help but feel that watching Charlie panic & Oswalt fail will have a negative effect on the team, the bullpen in particular. And that's to say nothing of what the potential physical effects of throwing 111 pitches on Sunday, throwing a bullpen session Wednesday afternoon, cooling down, warming up again, & entering & pitching in a game Wednesday night, & (we still hope) starting Game 6 on Saturday might be.

Wait wait wait. Let me get this straight. Yesterday morning everyone thought the most obvious decision to make was replacing Ibanez with Francisco because Ibanez has looked absolutely lost at the plate... but today everyone thinks we lost last night because Charlie didn't pinch hit with Ibanez? Give me a break. Sometimes you lose. Charlie could've made better decisions in hindsight but the only thing I would've definitely done differently at the time was removing Durbin mid at-bat against Sandoval when it was clear he wasn't going to get anything past him. (I also would've done that in the second Pedro v. Matsui at bat in game 6 last year), but it's hard to cricize him for not doing something that radical. And yeah, he probably should've bunted Rollins but I understand the idea of letting Rollins try and pull a ground ball. He had a lot of tough decisions and didn't do anything egrigious. He even got creative at times.
Our players didn't execute. That's why we lost. Stop looking for a scapegoat.

From an article in ESPN.com:

"If there's anything that can save Manuel and the Phillies now, it's that for the next three games there is a possibility that he won't have to make many decisions at all. The trio of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels is almost decision proof. If each pitcher does as expected, then Manuel's only decision would be to allow the starter to go deep into the game or go with closer Brad Lidge."

Actually, for the record, I don't disagree with the decision to start Blanton yesterday.

However, I am suprised at the quick hook. The reasonable expectation for Blanton is that he would give up 2-4 ERs over 5 or 6 innings.

To my eye, that was exactly what he was on pace to do, and he was yanked. What the heck?

I didn't understand that one...if you were going to start Blanton, and Blanton performed like Blanton...you were going to pull him quickly and run a bullpen game? Not sure of the logic there, but maybe someone can educate me.

But I didn't disagree with the initial starting Blanton decision.

Mostly disgreeing with the lack of Jimmy bunting and the lack of removing Francisco for a PH.

All you Charlie bashers will be calling him a genius when the Phillies come back to win this series.

I dont disagree with starting Chubb Rock either, I do disagree with leaving Durbin in for so long and for deferring to a pitching coach to make a game-hinging 9th inning decision.

"I think you can criticize Charlie's moves last night in the micro sense (and absolutely should), while appreciating that he is a good manager in the macro sense. "

Yeah. It's amazing how few words explains a concept so much better than voluminous posts.

aksmith: "I'd have rather had Worley in the pen, but what do I know."

I think Vance might end up with higher value as a 4th starter, so I'd be reluctant to put him in the pen for any long term.

I understand you were making a comparison, though, and not making an argument on starter v. reliever. It just worries me a little because a starting pitcher, even not a 1 or 2, is more valuable than a middle reliever.

@GTown_Dave: Point taken. The Oswalt thing is certainly a concern. As for the more intangible or, hell — existential — factors, I don't put a ton of stock in it. 3-2 going back to Philly is 3-2 going back to Philly. That's why saying that Roy should have pitched last night and Joe should have pitched tonight is dumb.

If people want to argue that everyone should have come back on 3-days, well, that at least makes sense. I think it's wrong, but it makes sense.

Tex: "All you Charlie bashers will be calling him a genius when the Phillies come back to win this series."

I hope you are right, although I don't in any way consider criticizing moves in a single game as being a "Charlie basher."

I heard earlier today that Oswalt had completed his entire "throwing day" regimen, plus throwing on the side, before he then came in and threw in the game. It's one thing to be a good soldier, and another to be a manager that knows when a late 30s fastball pitcher maybe shouldnt be used in that spot. Unless it's a game like tonight's or a tie game late in game 7. so let me get this straight, he started the game with a pitcher who hadn't started since September 25, and ended the game with a pitcher who threw a few days ago, threw all day, and will throw in a couple more days. No wonder Shane is so happy!!!! party at the Victorino residence!

GBrettfan,

I assume yours was a rhetorical question at 2:03? I think we know the answer.

Also, very interesting article by Michael Jack about hitting post season (link is in a comment above). He emphasizes relaxation and the importance to players of getting off to a good start.

I think of Chase Utley's 2 home runs in the first game of the WS last year, and how he ended up with 5. I think he was headed for another one until the whole team started taking every first strike, and Utley seemed behind in every count in the last couple of games. But that's another story.

The story this time is the pretty miserable start he's had in the post season. Does he look relaxed and confident in the dugout?

Coincidence and dime store psychology? Schmidt didn't mention Utley, but someone who knows a lot more about hitting than all the BLs combined thinks there is a correlation between the mind and the body as it relates to hitting.

Well worth a read.

Joe - Roy O is only 33 years old.

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